Okay, bad pun on a song title. But this is your post if you’re writing a book with me.
If you wrote today, how did it go?
Okay, bad pun on a song title. But this is your post if you’re writing a book with me.
If you wrote today, how did it go?
Managed 345 words and realised I absolutely can NOT write action. So I am thoroughly disgusted with myself.
I’m writing a Fantasy novel, and in doing so, trying to change peoples set ideas (e.g. wizards carry staffs). Am also trying to mantain a increasingly large world. I have had many ideas, and have done a lot of writing (I’ve never finished a story, never liked it enough), but lost my ideas notebook. Knew I should have backed it up.
Nothing written but Thanks to Ieva’s words earlier I have some notes and my mind is working hard at it with the new plot.
538 for Sunday. More than double the goal, but I still feel like a slacker. Where is my 3,000 word muse?
I spent a couple hours brainstorming an idea for future writing, not sure where it will fit in with my current schedule but by the time I get to it I will be hot for it!
Word count was 556 on Galactic Game, which brings it up to 17,108. It started as a 10k short and I have several more scenes to write to finish the story so I am feeling confident it will be in the 30k range. 30k in the past came with blood, so I’m happy with my progress.
I occasionally post for a beta reader for a work that is in final edits and is close to submission– for Oh Noes! mistakes.
I don’t like to edit while I am working through the first draft and most critiques go grammar crazy, which makes no sense if the section being worked might not even make the final cut. Plus I switch off between different WIPS now and then.
GG is part 2 of a 5 novella series, part one comes out in Jan 2010.
I’m epubbed in short sensual romance. My longest work out there is under 40k and I think there are two or three 8k shorts( I say I think because one is only available in an anthology which is in print at Amazon until the last copy sells!), one 15k and another 15k coming out this fall.
Okay, just took up the challenge today. I got in about 3 hours of quality writing — and contributed another 1,700 words to my manuscript draft. Finished one of four scenes from the latest chapter I’m working on. I have only about seven chapters to finish up the tail-end of the book, and another four to tack on to the beginning (but the prologue has been done for a long time).
Hey, is anyone else like me — I write in my head long before I ever get to paper? (Finished my master’s capstone thesis project in four days, but thought about it for two months solid before I ever put the first word to “paper.”) If so, I’d like to recommend developing a spreadsheet of all the scenes (not chapters, but scenes) that you anticipate will be in your book. I do this, based on a technique called the Snowflake Effect. It really helps me to 1) have a road map of what I need to be thinking about next before I ever write it out, 2) gives me a structured order of what scenes will make up a full chapter, 3) gives me bite-sized pieces (scenes) to complete and get that sense of accomplishment toward completing a chapter, and 4) helps me map out my complete story line, plot, conflicts, timelines, etc. I also tweak the spreadsheet once a week to add new scenes, remove scene ideas, or just to update what I’d like to return to and edit in that scene. It’s just a suggestion, but it’s been a huge help to me — and it did not squash my creativity as I had thought it might. Instead, it’s freed me up from lots of mind-map clutter that keeps me from deciding on a clear direction and then following it. Again, just a few thoughts. And, again, Holly, thanks to you for issuing this challenge and opening up this avene of dialogue for all us aspiring novelists!
I think that a lot of “structured” writers use spreadsheets like that. I know I do and from what I’ve seen on Forward Motion and on the Think Sideways forum, a lot of other people do as well. Lots of approaches lend themselves to that approach: The Marshall Plan, Write a book in 30 days, etc. But, using the cards (or a virtual variation thereof) makes building the plot and looking at different variations much easier and more flexible.
And I use the same concept as the Snowflake but I look at it as Progressive Refinement. I start with The Sentence. Then I think of the broad sections of the story that make up the story (either from natural conflicts or just from the basic flow of the story) and I create Sentences for those. Then I take each broad section and break it down into smaller and smaller sections, creating Sentences for each level, until I reach the scene level. And then I write the scenes.
This is an old programming approach for large projects (top down programming/top down design.)
I havn’t figured out a plotting technique that works for me yet (yes, still a beginner), but I think I will try out both Holly and Steph’s suggestions. At the moment I am just winging it!
Seems to be going ok so far with 28,362 words written, but I’m sure in the not too distant future I will wish I had a plan…
Thanks for the ideas guys
I got 20,000-30,000 words about 3-4 times going unstructured, just trying to let it “flow” out of me. I finally wrote out an outline and used spreadsheets using techniques from Writer’s Bootcamp and the Marshall Plan and went 45,000 and 60,000 words. The outline kept me much more focused. But one of my problems was that when I started deviating from the outline (which invariably happens), I didn’t keep the outline up to date. So both times, I reached a point where I had made so many new scenes and drifted from the outline so much, that the outline became unusable.
When I used the plot cards (or my variation of them using Visio and color coded boxes with scene descriptions), it allowed me to see the whole story better. I saw some points where my plot was failing and I was able to focus enough to finish the 90,000 words of the first draft. BUT… I didn’t allow myself to see the flaw that should have been visible after the first 3-4 weeks of Holly’s Think Sideways course or even from reading her plotting book. That’s what I’m fixing now.
Anyway, that’s my experience with it, even though I’m pretty much in the same boat you are. 🙂
Just curious, who here have actually published a book?
I was inspired to write today, then all of a sudden, I realized that I had forgotten an entire chapter and I was thinking, “Oh great….” It was a VERY important part of the story so I can’t leave it out. I was even planning to stay up very late writing tonight, but all of a sudden, I don’t want to. I’ve got so many things to worry about what with bringing home a new puppy and work, that I don’t want to have to deal with figuring this out tonight.
I feel like my story doesn’t get into the plot soon enough. It starts out with a whole bunch of mysteries, then the bad guy who the MC thinks is good gets accused by the MC’s new friend who knows she’s the bad guy. Then FINALLY we get into the plot where the MC finds out. That’s a little bit farther than half way through the story, but throughout the parts that the real plot hasn’t come in, we have all kinds of subplots and such going on. Is this okay or should I take away this one part to make the bad guy seem like the bad guy sooner if you know what I mean. Most of you are probably confused right now, but if you do happen to get what I mean, then what do you think?
By the way, I wrote a mere 34 words today. I was hoping to get 400, but my sister was watching a movie and I couldn’t write any more… 🙁
(All together, I got 135 words done today. ^^)
I actually managed 300 words today – now mind you they are probably 300 words of crap – but there they are. I am hoping tomorrow is a better day.
What can I say sometimes the Muse works with me; sometimes she avoids me like I’ve got thel plaque.
I agree with the whole Muse thing. 😉
Sick today, and my head’s too clouded to work…back to the reworking of my frame of mind tomorrow 😛 Thanks for all of the suggestions above. 🙂
As an aside, I love how so many people have a chance to network with each other about writing on these posts and through this challenge. This is the first post on which there are MANY replies-to-replies. It’s a great thing to see us all working and talking together. 🙂
291 words today, using ideas that came during a morning walk. It was harder to come up with my count today, though (yes, I can hear the laughter from the guys doing 1000 plus!).
Most of my effort went into tweaking the stuff I wrote yesterday. My muse didn’t like the tone of my words, and he demanded I go back and give my main character the voice she deserves.
So I did what my mused asked of me, unitl I got so fed up with him that I slapped him right across that ugly face of his and said, “Let me get some work done, dammit. This is only the first draft, fool.”
He went away to sulk and bothered me no more. I was free to pound away and regain some forward momentum, adding another 300 words to Chapter 1.
I guess the moral of today’s fiasco is . . . Good or bad, any progress beats no progress. And sometimes the only way to make progress is to slap around your muse and show that wily antagonist who’s really boss . .
Went from 6628 to 7804 1176 got an early start today. Was looking for the offical 7/5 thread, anywho the work is progressing with a large plot twist. Have a good week everybody.
There’s no need to apologize for the pun, Holly. I loved it!
I didn’t have a very productive literary weekend–197 words, for a four-day total of 914–but I did find time to fire a bottle rocket (inadvertently) into my mother-in-law’s front yard, giving a hundred-year-old maple tree the fright of its long life in the process. So the weekend wasn’t a total washout.
No, really…it was inadvertent.
Is it okay to ask a question here? I’m sorry if you’ve answered this before, but do you have beta readers/CPs? I am curious. Once you’ve finished a draft and done initial revisions, do you then pass it to a few other people before your agent/editor? Are they writers or non-writers or a mixture?
I have a fabulous crit partner! We found one another quite by accident and have a unique relationship. Neither of us were big fans of the type of fiction the other writes, so we definitely have fresh eyes for each other. She won’t let me get away with anything “in the name of romance” and I LOVE IT! I’ve learned so much from her comments and encouragement, but she’s not afraid to call me out over the smallest details – or the biggest holes – and I value that more than anything. She doesn’t demand for me to see it her way and she values and respects my voice, but darn if she won’t get that “red pen” out and let me have it!
Any other “regular” romance writers out there? I’ve seen a lot of paranormal and fantasy mentioned, but I’m just an old fashioned girl, myself. =c)
302 words for the children’s book and I got the world building files onto my TiddlyWiki for my adult fantasy WIP.
Congrats to everyone! It’s really motivating to all be doing it together. 🙂
1100+ words 🙂 And slacking off all Sunday.
Silly me was having trouble getting the text to flow, so I ended up rewriting the beginning scene Friday night. But now the words are flowing better and the story is moving on. Reached a little over 1,400 words yesterday. Wrote some more today and am at 2,140.
One of the problems, I’m having is figuring out why someone wanted to steal a bridge. It opens a whole lot of problems for the city.
Good writing everyone!
Steal a bridge? To cause havoc of course!! 🙂
It was pretty tough, but I made it through another 4000 words, making it 54000. However, it came with the realization that main main plotline has several holes. It was the one I had outlined, but I’m finding that I enjoy writing the other one much more. Oh well, that’s what revision is for.
I wrote 280 words on saturday and feel like a complete slacker.
I’m going to shoot for a few more today. However, I’ve gotten bogged down researching the history of my MCs wife. Now her resume is impecable and unquestionable. It just leaves me wondering why she married the MC in the first place.
No writing last night–except for along journal ramble. Instead, I drove into the country and just soaked up earth-power.
I was working on a html project which had a Monday afternoon deadline which has since moved to an indefinite deadline which mean I wasted some good brainspace getting stressed out. Too stressed out to concentrate on the planning I need to do for my book.
That is the first thing I want to do Monday morning though.
Just over 250 words Friday night, and 271 last night. It took a long time to even figure out what to write last night, so I decided that today I’d do a bit of outlining, so that when I sit down to do my nightly words, there are plenty of areas to work on, and I don’t have to spend too much time deciding.
Hi all. This is my first post here (I’m usually more of a lurker for these kinds of things). I’m working on the first draft of novel I started toward the end of June. I want to have it finished by the end of August with a target of approx. 90,000 words. I wrote 2241 words yesterday, which put me at 17,286 total so far.
Now I’m off to get started on today’s words.
Does thinking count? LOL. Maybe not. July 4 is our wedding anniversary and a great day to watch fireworks, so we rode an hour south down the coast in the boat to catch a few of the barrier island displays. For two hours before they started, we sat anchored. The kids played in the water without fighting (gasp!) and the gentle rocking of the boat and quiet slapping of the water gave me the piece of mind to work out the next couple of chapters in my head. I know exactly what happens next!
Word count: 0
Used my Inspiration software to do some brainstorming. I’ll be introducing a lot of the main characters in the chapter I’m working on and want to get their inter-relational dynamics figured out before I do any more writing. So I mind-mapped for several hours, 804 words worth of brainstorming. Can’t count that toward my total word count, but post it here as evidence I was not idle today. I am definitely making progress! Got a lot of good information as a result of this morning’s work, including many areas of conflict, some subtle, and some not so subtle.
As Holly would say, onward!
Holly, my bestfriend (an MFA student in creative writing) found your blog and your challenge online. Thank you, thank you, thank you for issuing this challenge. I have co-written two business books, but my real love is fantasy fiction. In fact, I’ve had a novel in my head since I was 11 years old, and hand wrote it out (a horrible attempt) into a 300-page manuscript when I was 16 years old (I’m 41 now, so that was clearly some time ago). My BFF directed me to your challenge because I started a novel with a great idea 4 years ago, and despite getting to an 80,000 word count, I just could’t seem t0 move that story along. Then, in November of 08, I woke up at 2 a.m. with a scene for an entirely new story in my head and I just started writing from that scene. Now I’m up to a 75,000 word count and a spreadsheet of each anticipated scened has kept me move the story along on track (see Snowflake Effect). However, over the past few months, I’ve been struggling to find time to get to it. I love the story, the characters and what I still have yet to write. Your challenge is exactly what I needed! I’m headed off to Starbucks this afternoon to write for hours! And then tomorrow I’ll write at least 250 — and everyday thereafter until this creation is complete. Thank you again! I look forward to “working” together!
Words written = 1020 , half way through my 6th chap.
Very little done today. I think the last count was around 700 (that is, before midnight). So, whatever I managed to write after that, goes to Sunday.
659 words today.
I started working on the revision of my book. I’m still just in the re-development stage so all those 659 words were just related to fleshing out the new main character and the cultures he’s a part of. He’s not the original main character although he was an important player. Holly mentioned something recently that made me go through a total paradigm shift with my culture and my hero. He needs to have his family and he needs to actually interact with them. AND in a “normal” world, there probably isn’t a thieve’s guild… at least not as organized and pulled together as we usually see in D&D campaigns, RPG’s, and many novels. Since this guy is a thief, it’s important to flesh out who he’s stealing from, how he’s fencing that, and what his family thinks about it even though, that part of his life is gone after the first scene.
I’m usually not big on Vampire novels (although I have loved several) and this kid was turned into a vampire as a plot twist/complication in someone else’s story. But. He’s really interesting, he’s very fun (at least, when he’s not hungry), and he has a penchant for getting into trouble and then talking his way out of it. Right now, my sentence is this: After accidentally turning himself into a vampire, a roguish thief fights to keep vampire-kind safe from a heartbroken magician trying to destroy them all. But there are still some details about it that I think are a li’l weak.
I got 2000 words. And realised that I wont finish the draft before I leave. Ah well. That’s life.
I did figure what to write after this one. Plus I did some background research for another idea.
1,454 so far tonight and not sure if I’m finished yet (but the chapter is). 28,292 total. Yay almost at the 30k mark!!
Very BIG scene. My main character has just killed two men to save an innocent girl from abuse. Her world is rocked. But she kicked some ass. And a third bady got away and he knows who she is. When he reaches the big baddies everyone else will know too…
What fun 🙂
Another 70, but now I really do have to go to a family dinner..
But I’m having so much fun!!
Catch you all tomorrow 🙂
was able to dust off an old project from 2 years ago and started over.
A reserved young man from a sleepy fishing village must learn how to work with others when he discovers he is the lost Prince of a neighboring kingdom.
588 words tonight. I jumped in and started the book I’m calling the Third Barrier for right now. Cricket helps a poor stranger who seems oblivious to everything in the world but her and does something she would never normally do.
…YOUR main character is named Cricket too?! That’s just too weird.
Uh, yeah. Somehow, Cricacina just seemed too long.
1205 give or take (some meta-tags in there may throw off my word-count), *after* almost deciding to take the night off after a late holiday dinner with family.
Really glad I didn’t, as my MC now knows a Bad Guy is a Good Guy and the MC has to do something that will make him out to be a Bad Guy if the other Good Guys ever found out.
And it is good writing.
653. It’s been a long and mostly tense day but I really needed something to go right. And it did, with my writing. But now I have to half-naked characters that don’t know they aren’t going to get to jump each other’s bones.
Today, 850 words about a girl and her horse. I feel the need for horseback riding lessons, all sudden-like. I’ll put it aside and work on something more important like the massive holes in the timeline and inconsistencies of character aging. And I guess, find out how long horses live (thank you, google).
I’ve had horses forever. (Or, make that from the age of 13 until the current age of 31, anyway). If I can offer a personal, non-texty POV for you, please let me know.
Appreciated – and I’ll let you know.
It’s seven o’clock and I wanna plot….
After rereading all my work I think I have a huge hole in it, or at least after 2+ yrs I forget WHY the Princess knows so much but yet not All about the powers of the hidden ruling race. ((So, I took a break and got all the blocks of the quilt for my Mother’s 80th together and it was kinda like a book, each large block a chapter and all the hexagons like scenes.)) And why does the ‘bad’ guy suddnely let go the woman he loves? that was so sudden I sure didn’t see it coming? What was I thinking for 23k?
Well, invent a patch for it (e.g. a part of her powers are considered “evil” and are deliberately hidden from her etc.) and treat it as a plot turn.
Every flaw can be treated as an opportunity 🙂
Thanks Ieva, I wonder if I can hide her powers from her? It is kinda like an idea I had b4 but 4got. Although I dont want her to be a dolt. something to think on as i go to work.
Maybe didn’t forget so much as had suppressed? Not necessarily of her own free will?
Hey Dee, maybe, but I have been coming to her being so content and happy, she doesnt notice that she has a power over people (they sure dont) so unless the boy raised as her brother lets on she wouldn’t know. And I am wondering just how much he has to do with her anyway, I did have them as lovers, but not so sure now…
322 words today, while sitting on my porch and listening to fireworks (for some reason none of them were visible from my vantage point).
I’ve been dipping into Think Sideways for ideas. Added a scene to my story, did a little reworking on two. I think it’s coming together. Finally nailed down how she got a job after husband threw her out. Then a better one. Around 300 additional words. Did some reading on Holly’s website. Most I’d read several years ago, still darn good. And inspirational.
I’m doing JulNoWriMo in the midst of this, and fell WAY behind (already) by writing absolutely nothing yesterday! (But I had a wonderful night with family.) Anyways, today, I have managed 2,815 words – so far. I’m trying to push to 3,200 before I go to sleep, and I think I’ll make it. I think. Anyways, this is a great way to keep motivated! Thanks Holly!
Pardon my ignorance but what is ; JulNoWriMo ?? And NanMo??
Isnt it cool that people are being motivated and writring with Holly?
JulNoWriMo is July Novel Writing Month, an alternative month for people who either can’t work in November (the original month: http://www.nanowrimo.org/) or who prefer to do both.
I wrote very mediocrely for years before I met Holly and her endeavors to teach others how to write. I’m currently in month two of the Think Sideways course, but for this challenge I’m going to rewrite the novel I started (and worked up to 27,000+ words) five years ago so that it’s up to my standards. Unfortunately, I realized today that the world I’ve been actively creating and contemplating for five years has a major flaw that will require a full rework of the worldbuilding before I can start a rewrite of the novel. That flaw makes my world entirely unbelievable and wholly impractical.
What is that flaw? My world, Ishtar-Ayr, is a utopia. The government’s perfect and uncorrupted (that’s a huge problem since my MC is the prince), everyone has a nice job and a happy family and a big house, and everyone agrees with every decision the government makes. There are no poor and destitute people, there’s no corruption, there’s no unemployment, there are no slums, there are no rebels, and there’s too little crime. The big obstacle in changing all of this is breaking my mental restraints: After working on this world for five years, it’s become so solid and “real” (in a non-deluded, sane way) that I have to reframe my perception of my world before I can change my world itself. Suggestions are welcome.
In the immortal words of Holly, “onward.”
You only saw the world through the eyes of the Prince. Now create a character from the slums and show all that the Prince doesn’t know about his own city (world).
You. Are. A. Genius. Thank you SO much!
that’s a good suggestion, but what about there being no slums? I like the sound of it, challenging and could be so v cool. Go Brian
Megan, the problem was the fact that with the world being perfect there was no conflict. If the prince does think he is doing right in a world with no problems then he comes to find he’s been wrong the entire time his whole world with collapse.
It makes a much more interesting story.
You are welcome, I love plotting, but not really a genius, I still haven’t had a story published yet. Now working on characterisation.